Current estimates report that as many as 1.5 billion people in the world have hearing loss, amounting to roughly 20% of the global population. For a condition that affects so many people, it is remarkable that there are so many fictions about the condition that continue to circulate. Most people who are lucky enough to reach their elderly years will have some form of age-related hearing loss, so why do people have so many misconceptions of the condition?
The following are a few important facts and fictions about hearing loss to keep in mind. The facts are useful to orient yourself toward conditions that are so common, and the seeing the fictions for what they are can help you point others in the right direction, as well.
Fact: Hearing loss can happen at any age.
As we know, hearing loss is most common among people in their older years. A lifetime of the ears being inundated by sound is sufficient to damage their sensitive inner features. However, hearing loss is not limited to elderly people. In addition to those who are born with hearing impairment, younger and younger people are showing signs of noise-induced hearing loss. If you sense a change in your hearing but think you are too young to have hearing loss, it is wise to get a test.
Fiction: It’s okay to wait to get hearing aids.
Too many people put off getting the assistance they need, and the reasons for this delay are quite varied. Some people think that hearing aids will make them seem old or like they are losing their independence. Quite the contrary, hearing aids can help people preserve their independence. Be eliminating the need to ask others to repeat themselves or to speak up, you might actually shave years off others’ perception of your age! Although the reasons for putting off getting hearing aids are quite varied, the results of delaying assistance can be quite detrimental. Those who don’t get the hearing aids they need can have negative effects for their physical, mental, and social wellbeing.
Fact: Untreated hearing loss is associated with cognitive decline and higher rates of dementia.
One of the most significant health conditions associated with untreated hearing loss is impaired cognition. Experts believe that those who don’t get assistance for their hearing have communication problems that make the brain scramble to understand the world. Some people even check out in conversations because they are difficult to understand, and this lack of mental stimulation can be a risk factor for cognitive decline. In terms of the raw statistics, those who have untreated hearing loss have much higher rates of dementia than those who do not, so researchers are doing work to better understand the connection between these two conditions.
Fiction: People find their own ways to get by without hearing aids.
Many people think they can get enough out of conversations to make do, even without hearing assistance. Although many people feel this way about themselves, few of their closest loved ones and family members agree. Some of these people disregard or ignore the things they can’t hear, and this tactic can make not only the practical details of life more difficult, but relationships can also suffer. When a person feels disregarded or ignored, a ripple effect can move through the family, causing frustration and tension.
Fact: Hearing assistance is just a phone call away.
When you take these facts and fictions as a whole, you will see that hearing assistance is a crucial part of your health and wellness as soon as it becomes necessary. The first step toward getting treatment is to give us a call. We will make an appointment for a diagnostic exam and consultation about your individual needs.
The information we gain from that appointment will lead us to a range of recommendations for hearing aids, and we will follow you through the process toward dispensing, fitting, and training you how to use them. Rather than abiding by these myths, why not take the opportunity to get the treatment you need? Our experts are ready to guide you from hearing loss to comprehensive hearing assistance.